We had the good fortune of connecting with Jesse Szymanski and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jesse, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I envisioned Modern Muse Media as a company that would support women in film and television production, and set out with a specific goal to provide opportunities for women to learn and gain experience in this industry.

I vowed to create opportunities for women and train female graduates, teaching them everything I had learned the hard way, hoping to provide them with the opportunity to flourish and grow and save them from a few faceplants.

I took the knowledge gained from two decades of extensive experience in this field and reshaped it for entrepreneurs, training them in video production to market their business.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was a young female co-executive producer of an award winning tv show called Blackstone, and a success story in Canadian television.

My relationship with television abruptly ended and I made the decision to walk away from two decades of working in film and television to start my own business. I was motivated to create opportunities for women and train female graduates, teaching them everything I learned working as a producer in an industry that still lacks female mentors who have worked in executive roles.

Utilizing my award-winning television experience as a producer and media personality, I founded Modern Muse Media promoting powerful brand-building through social media video. I knew that I was offering a unique service to the business community, one that didn’t exist before here in Alberta. And, if you didn’t believe me, ask Gary Vee.

I realised that businesses were missing the knowledge and training to create and edit engaging videos for social media. Modern Muse Media was launched to fill a need for training that was not being offered to businesses ay. I believe that positive mentorship is key to successfully achieving your business goals. In many industries like film and television, women struggle to find supportive female mentors, which is why I chose to become one.

Learning to adjust to circumstances is an important lesson I learned during the pandemic. Our team transferred the video training workshops to online instead of in person, which propelled Modern Muse Media to a higher level of growth than ever before. Who’d ever thought we could teach people how to shoot and edit through a zoom lens?!

Modern Muse Media is a full-service video production company. www.modernmusemedia.cain our community. I built a team to develop a training program for businesses, teaching them how to use production tools to create engaging video content.

Six years later, Modern Muse Media continues to be an all female production team offering internship opportunities for women film graduates and video production services and training to the business community.

Was it easy… not by any stretch of the imagination!

The lessons I learned on the way were to stick to my goals and my vision, no matter how difficult it was to get there, I had to have razor sharp focus and absolute faith that I would make it. One of my mentors, Dan Kern, kept advising me every step of the way, he helped me to find focus, to overcome obstacles and keep my vision intact. I repeat his words in my head daily. “It is a marathon not a sprint!” its a good thing I love running! 😉 It’s important to have mentors who understand and support your vision, to help you achieve your goals along the way.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Edmonton is a Festival City https://exploreedmonton.com/ and I love attending lots of them throughout the year. Attending jazz fest, https://www.edmontonjazz.com/ folk music festival Edmonton, https://edmontonfolkfest.org/ Fringe Festival, http://www.fringetheatre.ca/ Taste of Edmonton https://www.tasteofedm.ca/ and my favorite winter festival, Silver Skate Festival https://silverskate.ca/. There’s also an amazing historical vibrant and trendy area called Whyte Ave, the shopping, entertainment, restaurant and cultural heart of Edmonton in Old Strathcona. https://oldstrathcona.ca/ Edmonton has a multitute of Incredible Murals to check out that are instagrammable https://linda-hoang.com/guide-top-instagrammable-walls-edmonton/ and of course our incredible River Valley: As the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 160 kilometres of maintained pathways and 20 major parks, the River Valley is a natural wonder for all. https://www.edmonton.ca/activities_parks_recreation/parks_rivervalley/river-valley-trail-maps

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out goes to Susan Feddema-Leonard, Executive Producer at People & Peaks Productions (willmorewilderness.com) and former Chair of Women in Film and Television – Alberta, (wiftalberta.ca) who encouraged and supported me to start an all female media production company so that I could train and mentor women to work in film and television, Modern Muse Media. She actually gave me the idea and the push off the cliff to just do it; she inspired courage in me and sparked my determination to rise to the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur.

Susan was incredibly supportive and also my first client, she was the key person who encouraged me to start Women in Film and Television – International (www.wifti.net) is a world wide organization, and I encourage all female professionals working in film and television to find a local chapter and benefit from their support.

Website: www.modernmusemedia.ca

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/modern_muse_media

Linkedin: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/modern-muse-media-7334a1134

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modernmusemedia/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3w8LoMr8ZW_cn0B_cFmgFw/

Other: https://www.yegba.com/jesse-szymanski – Jesse is the Vice President of the EBA Edmonton Business Association https://www.instagram.com/szymanskijesse https://www.facebook.com/jesse.szymanski https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-szymanski-4470b47/

Image Credits
Irene Lay / Aaron Petersen /Christina Louise /Emma Wood/

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